TEEN HEALTH Published November9, 2015 By Milafel Hope Dacanay

Mobile Health Coaching Solution Partners with Humana to Fight Childhood Obesity

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Children's Hospital Class Aims To Help Youth With Obesity Issues
(Photo : John Moore | Getty Images News)

Employers by now should know health is wealth even in the workplace. Fortunately, creating the best wellness program for them is easy with the partnership between Humana, one of the biggest insurance companies in the United States, and Kurbo Health, a mobile health coaching app.

Under the partnership, employers who own a Humana health plan can now subscribe for 12 months on Kurbo, giving the app as an additional wellness benefit for employees and their children. Based on previous studies, more than 30% of employee beneficiaries in a workplace are under-25 dependents.

According to Joanna Strober, the app's CEO and founder, childhood obesity impacts not only the health of the child but also the parents' livelihood who may face higher medical costs, lost productivity due to the child's illness, and poor engagement in the workplace. Children's illnesses, meanwhile, contribute to at least 15% of the total health care costs of the employer.

The Kurbo app, which is uniquely designed for teens, is built on the principles of the Pediatric Obesity Program by Stanford University. It features a physical activity and food tracker, which displays color-coded symbols to denote the healthiness of the food. It also sends updates and notifications through text, allows parents to monitor the child's fitness and diet progress, and provides regular live coaching through phone, video chat, and text. The professional coaches also help the children and their families create healthy goal settings per week.

The app has already been downloaded more than 45,000 times since its official debut in 2014 and has helped over 85% of teen users to reduce their body mass index (BMI) within three months, boost their self-confidence and happiness, and sustain their weight loss and lifestyle changes.

Aside from employers with Humana plans, the app can also be downloaded by the public. It is now available in Google Playstore and Apple's App Store.

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